Saturday, 14 June 2014

FHC resto nr. 14; Don't Speke to me ...

One lesson learned so far with this restoration is that next time I restore a TR7 I won't use a Speke built body shell as a basis. Why I can almost hear you ask? Well fairly simple, because they are so badly put together in the factory. Instead of repairing rust holes, most time so far has been spent rectifying badly fitted (read aligned) panels. I already mentioned the right hand chassis leg, the rear-light-panel, the rear edge of the left  hand rear wing and the rear deck. But a few other panels can be added to the list.

By far the worst so far was the right hand rear wing, were it meets the sill. If fitted correctly it should sit flush with the sill. On this car the  rear of this joint stood out from the sill, while the front where it meets the B-post stood slightly inwards. The difference between front and rear was about 5mm. Not good when you are looking for decent panel gaps. Only way to rectify this was by removing some spot-welds giving some room to manoeuvre. After which that part of the wing was fastened with some plug welds.

But also the nose panel is affected. Although the front chassis legs are pretty much where they are supposed to be, the nose panel itself was fitted almost 5 mm out to the left. Or maybe we are just too much of a bunch of perfectionists :-). At least when finished this car won't win any prizes in a concourse, as the panel gaps will be far too even in comparison to the original factory tolerances! And hopefully this will be the second to last TR7 restoration. The last one scheduled at the moment will be 't Kreng, and she has much better panel fitment. But not that far yet as with the paint and all filler removed another little problem emerged. What is there on the right hand A-post is the imprint of the front of a door.

No wonder the door I choose to use on this side didn't fit. But with the door out again the alignment was quickly rectified with a 5 kg hammer. This was used to good effect on the hinges' mounting points. Added bonus is that the shims used on this car to align the doors can now be discarded.

And to finish this post, another problem that reared its ugly head was the original left hand door. After paint removal it became clear that some work had been carried out on this door, with some nasty dents around the edge of the door skin. Probably caused by improper or incorrect use of tools. So the skin was only good for the bin. Which was a good thing as with the skin removed it became obvious that more bodge repairs had been carried out. Expertly hidden from the outside but immediately clear ones the skin was of. The lower frame edge is badly affected over its entire length, either badly fitted repair section or only a very thin strip of metal remaining.

And as repairing the damage properly would be fairly time consuming, we opted for a rather different approach. To be continued.

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